We’ve moved into a new realm in the era of speaking up. I fear that soon the weight of another story about unwanted sexual advances or harassment will not be so heavy at all. Similar to the way we, in America, have become less shocked to hear of another shooting. Will nothing ever be sacred again in this society? Are things moving so quickly that we haven’t taken enough time to let them sink in, and actually mean something? With all this intense research into narcissism that I’ve done in the last six months, I am beginning to wonder – are we, as a whole, losing our empathy and becoming more like narcissists? Will continuing to speak up numb the power of our individual voices?
“There’s a lot of energy in resisting,” said the great Gloria Steinhem at an event last night.
Good god, I can finally figure out why I’ve been so damn tired, yet have slept more than any time in my life. My energy is still being sucked out, like a slow leak in a flat tire. I have continued to extend my precious energy into decoding the relationship I had with my ex-fiancé, the narc. We, collectively, as women, have also spent countless eons resisting: the urge to speak up about anything or everything at all. And here we are, seemingly letting it all out. Some, with an audible “ahh” like that annoying loud sigh-er in a yoga class. Others, still behind screens, nameless. To me, I still feel proud to be a woman among all women; I’m one of them, I’m *with* them. I only hope that we can transition from RESISTANCE to ACTION, or some version of reality. Become re-energized at our most exhausted state. Whoever said we need to ‘work smarter, not harder’- was, well, very smart.
In the context of the accused, kickass feminist boss Gloria also said something very important, and very powerful.
“Someone who apologizes and changes, is very different than someone who tries to destroy their accuser.”
Sitting on the floor of the convention center 20 feet away from her on stage, I was blown away. Suddenly I felt like I had been zapped. The convergence of what has been playing out in the #MeToo phenomenon has run eerily parallel to being in love and trashed by a narcissist – and the painful blurry fallout to regain clear vision. Then, months later, find the courage to speak up – for the sake of it, because it matters to me. All the while, he has tried to destroy me and my reputation. (And likely succeeded in his circles of friends and family). He has never apologized, and is incapable of change. Nor am I able to bring justice or make people support me. All my voice will ever be is my story; nothing more.
Those who may be skeptical among all of these accusations and respond “Why didn’t she/he speak up when it happened?”
I hope they stop and think about that for awhile. I hope we do not have to give an endless answer to that ridiculous question. Why must we defend ourselves before the accuser is asked to? We’re tired and the world really needs our energy for something more worthwhile. I, for one, am done giving mine up.
(p.s. A huge shoutout to HG Tudor – from his tantalizing content – “Knowing the Narcissist” blog)